Black-tea ice cubes, sultana swizzle sticks, honeycomb, vodka, gin, rye and more all shaken and stirred and muddled and served for your pleasure - meet the drinks (and their makers) you'll find at the year's biggest cocktail carnival
It calls itself “the last country pub in the Sydney metropolitan area”, which seems an odd point of pride. More obviously admirable is their staunch “no pokies” policy, which they have stood by throughout the hotel's history and which we enthusiastically applaud – but when you're an established hotel in the middle of Woolloomooloo, what does “country pub” mean, exactly? Well, for one thing, it means it hasn’t seen a refurbishment in a good long time: in a city filled with polished chrome and flatscreens, there’s something refreshing about a pub that has the front bar design aesthetic of Taree circa 1984 – right down to the hard-to-find bathrooms. It’s a classic Australian look, although the décor and staff are a good deal friendlier than the locals, who looked downright affronted when we entered the front bar – which, again, is a classic country pub experience. It just feels odd to feel like fish-out-of-water city slickers a stone’s throw from William Street. Still, the beers are cold, if unspectacular in variety (though the Squires on tap was nice), and the dining room would be nice during the day with the sun streaming in through the skylights. However, with the menu asking around $20 for a main the prices are a bit steep for what amounts to standard pub grub, especially with the many, many cheaper options of Kings Cross a mere two blocks away. But for an early evening tipple before hitting the brighter lights of the Cross or Darlinghurst, the Cathedral Street outdoor tables are a perfect place to plan your evening’s activities.